June 29, 2005

In our attempt to be politically correct and fair to all people I’m afraid we have pushed aside the white male. In the past several years I’ve noticed that in sitcoms and regular tv programming, in an attempt to show women’s competance I’m sure, the father-figure of the household is almost always a blundering, lazy, overweight man whose most redeeming feature is the woman whom he married. It sends the wrong message to both men and women and now that I have a son of my own I’m even more concerned.

It’s been well-accepted for years that children who grow up without a father are more likely to be considered “at risk” for teenage pregnancy and violent crimes in addition to behavioural disorders. So why aren’t we doing more to appreciate fathers?

Ask any stay at home mother how important fathers are and she will give you a laundry list of incidents in which Daddy saved the day. I could give you stories from every mother that I know of how the children light up when Daddy comes home (our own son recognizes the sound of his keys in the door) and how sad they are when Daddy is either late, or has to leave again.

Yes, I am very appreciative of the progress the world has made with regard to women, but do we have to suppress men in the process? Our society can really only thrive with both parents actively doing their roles. We need Daddies to be Daddies and to feel appreciated as such!


stork bite

June 28, 2005

Today on our walk a little old lady asked me if my son was “Rousky.” When I replied that he was not (and assuming she was commenting on his hair) but that it was probably his Irish ancestry, she told me in non-English words (it’s a good thing that gestures are international) that his stork bite was characteristic of Russian babies. At least I’m pretty sure that’s what she said.

About a month ago on a different walk a different little old lady told me that the stork bite meant that a girl would be next. (This is intriguing as I believe it has been 100 years since a girl was born in my husband’s family line.) Apparently this woman had had two sons, neither or whom had a stork bite so her mother told her to stop trying because the next one would also be a boy.

I love little old ladies, they make me smile. I hope I’m like that when I grow up.

The Exchange

June 20, 2005

Somewhere between cutting me open to remove my son and sewing me back up I lost something. Yes, of course, my baby was extracted from my body, and yes there was most certainly blood and placenta on the floor, but I left a part of me in there, too.

In my former life I was a workaholic. I studied intensely when at school and worked with an equal amount of vigor at each of my jobs. At one point after college I held four jobs, though none of them was full-time. When I finally had my own classroom I may as well have had a sleeping bag there. My students had running jokes as to whom had seen my car in the parking lot at the most obscure time. (7 am, 7 pm, Saturday, holiday, snow day, 7 am on the snow day…) I loved teaching. It was my 24hours a day job. I dreamt about my students. I roamed around looking for a better way to teach long division or to find a meaningful way to explain comma rules. At any given time I had 5 lesson plans in the works in my head.

I was also taking a graduate course at a time and I taught piano lessons on Saturday morning. I loved being busy, I loved feeling so fulfilled. I felt like I was making a difference in the lives of so many people. Even after we moved out to California I still dreamt of my former students and fellow teachers. I looked at anything as an incentive to get my boys to do homework or a teaching aid.

Being a stay at home mum is the best job I’ve ever had. The hours are even longer than those of a new teacher. Many days are less immediately rewarding. But the benefits are amazing. I love knowing that I am making a direct difference in the life of my son. I love knowing that I am the primary caregiver, and the person to whom he looks for praise and love. I know that my efforts will raise a more emotionally secure contributing member of society. I know that I am doing best by him. My bad days are not as bad as my bad days were as a teacher and the only parent with whom I have to contend is my supportive, loving husband.

But wonder of all wonders is that the new me is more calm and relaxed. Yes, that’s right, being a parent has made me a calmer person. I know so many people who obssess over every little thing with their children. I feel calm and secure. I know that he is okay and that sad days, sick days, spit up, and heat rashes are all a normal part of growing up and that he is well-within the normal range. I thought I would be an alarmist but I’m not. I’m becoming the kind of mother I had always wanted to be.

I’m not sure I would recognize the old me left on the operating room floor. That woman was a stressed-out, unrested workaholic. I work just as hard as I did before, but my quality of life has increased exponentially.


June 13, 2005

If everything that goes in is clear/white in colour …

how is it that what comes out is a rainbow?